Groupon launched a scheduling tool in beta stage on Monday. The Groupon scheduler will allow customers to buy the deal of the day and book an appointment with that business at the same time. This is to help Groupon with their long-term goal of encouraging small businesses to run more deals through the company.
Groupon’s scheduling tool will be free to small businesses that offer deals through the website in the United States and Canada, except Quebec. For a limited trial period of three months, Groupon Scheduler will be free to businesses that could use a tool online to book appointments, but don’t offer deals through Groupon. The daily deals company didn’t say what the tool will cost after that trial period.
While the Groupon Scheduler tool is useful for small businesses, restaurants and hotels won’t be eligible because they usually have their own system in place. Groupon also said the scheduling tool doesn’t support these types of businesses right now.
The tool will allow small businesses to track customer appointments, including previous appointments and how much the customer spent at that time. It will also provide the small business with a client list and business dashboard that shows real-time numbers of appointments, new customers and percentage of bookable time filled. Businesses can add a button to their website to allow customers to book online, which will automatically take the customer to the scheduling tool to book an appointment. It will also send email reminders to customers to help avoid customers from not showing up.
David Katz, vice president and general manager of retail solutions at Groupon wrote, “Managing appointments and staffing schedules is critical for small businesses, but it takes time and energy. Scheduler streamlines these time-consuming tasks and lets business owners dedicate more time to what matters most, developing a thriving business. Scheduler is designed to be clean, simple and easy to use.”
The new Groupon Scheduler tool technology knowledge is based from the Canadian company, OpenCal they bought last fall. After a user buys a Groupon deal they will be able to book appointments or wait until later. They will also be able to change or cancel appointments online. Even after using the Groupon deal, users can also continue to schedule with the merchant directly.
Jane Kane of Loving Lotus Center & Spa in Coral Gables, Florida told Financial Post, “We began using Groupon Scheduler in February and it has been a great tool to help manage customer appointments and employee schedules. It was extremely easy to implement and Groupon Scheduler has helped reduce the amount of time I spend on administrative tasks, giving me more time to do what I enjoy most, work with my clients.”
Image Source of Groupon Scheduler Tool: Mashable